Oh, you guys know I wouldn’t leave you in 2012 without a “best of” or “2012 was awesome/horrid/blah/meh/cool” type post. I know I am on hiatus but my good conscience could not allow me to end the year without an end of the year post. I would feel so unfulfilled. Well, not really, because wedding planning is now getting into full swing and I am about to explode. I’m still watching anime, but thank goodness for that technological contraption called the iPad because now I can plan for the wedding, watch anime, and blog no matter where I go. I’ve only really done the first two, though. We all know that the world didn’t end on 12/21/12 and I doubt anyone truly believed that it would outside of a few preppers. The quality of popular anime has appeared to have ended. “Pish posh”, I know some of you are saying, “this year’s shows were great”! I beg to differ, my dear small group of readers. I can barely remember the majority of shows that came out this year. But I can remember the lamentations of many anime fans on the decline of some of anime’s greatness, the spark dulling, the lack of anticipation for each new season, and the division between anime fans. I also can remember making new friends because of anime. Those who have more in common with me than I have ever encountered for a long time. 2012 has been a year of growth. A year that things I had only ever dreamed and prayed about came into fruition. A few things were accomplished and goals that I set for myself were realized. I managed to make one full year blogging on my first anime blog. That was very exciting for me. I finally felt like I had come full circle with my anime fandom. I found an outlet that I was comfortable with to express how I felt about anime-related topics. It wasn’t as consistent as I would have liked nor as titillating as and interesting as I envisioned it but it has been satisfying. Here are my favorite shows of 2012, which I’m basing off “Would I re-watch this show?” For these; the answer is yes:
1. Uchuu Kyodai (Space Brothers) - I have continued to watch this show that is the epitome of slice of life. I really like that the main characters are adults. Not college students, but adults, some were parents, some had their own families, and some still lived with their parents *cough* Mutta *cough*. But they were adults over the age of 25. This is something that I have found missing in anime lately, shows that have adult characters. There is only so much I can take regarding middle schoolers and high school kids. But when I think about it, even when I was younger, outside of Sailor Moon, I’ve always preferred anime with adult characters. Maybe one day I will explore why that is a preference. Now that I’m off my tangent, though there is a sci-fi element to this show, possible space aliens (the twinkle on the Moon!) and the show is set in the near future, it is still very relatable and down to Earth. Mutta struggles with feelings of inadequacy and doubt though he is undoubtedly a genius who is extremely socially awkward. The back stories of the characters are real and provide you with a full picture of each character. I really have an attachment to them all and without spoiling anything, those who I expected to be chosen to be astronauts for JAXA were chosen.
2. Jormungand – Child soldiers. Family. If you’re wondering where “family” comes from, the team of gun-toting weapons’ dealers are a family. It becomes glaringly obvious that this is a family whether any of them would admit them or not. Though, Jonah started with a hate of weapons’ dealers, he loves Koko, and the feeling appears to be mutual. He is a calming factor to her which seems like an oxymoron because he is killing people throughout the show. Jonah also seems to get along well with the other member’s of Koko’s team and they care for him. He’s expected to pull his own weight but many times, it seems that they try to protect him almost as much as they protect Koko. I do wonder how it will end.
3. Sakamichi no Apollon – This show had the potential to be one of my favorites but ended up leaving me with a lukewarm feeling. It got increasingly boring each episode and what saved it was the final episode that culminated into a bittersweet ending.
4. Another – This technically started in 2011 and ended in 2012. But I did enjoy the show to some degree that I have considered re-watching it to catch anything I may have missed.
That is about it. I thought 2012 wasn’t the best year for new anime but I did catch up on a lot of old anime series and movies that kept me more than happy such as Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040, Nodame Cantabile (still haven’t finished the finale season), Ergo Proxy, and Omoide Poroporo (underrated movie). I’m hoping 2013 brings back quality anime that not only has great visuals but great stories. I am willing to tolerate fanservice if the story entertains me. Please, anime industry, give us more mature content (not of the XXX kind) and less of the unnecessarily and abnormally enlarged bouncing boobs and panty shots on underaged and even of age females with the stupid stories that provide me with little entertainment. It would be greatly appreciated by this long-time anime fan.
So what were your favorite anime shows of 2012? Any recommendations (new or old)? Did you have a good year whether it was related to blogging or your life in general? Any goals for 2013?
I had to take a quick break from my hiatus (break from my break, lol) to talk about Jero. I don’t listen to enka at all, unless its in an anime but sometimes Tumblr really gives me something that sparks my interest. When I think of Enka music, I generally think of old people or old and sad Japanese movies. It never crosses my mind to envision an Enka singer being an older Japanese person, not a young Black American of Japanese descent (his grandmother was Japanese). I don’t know about anyone else but I’m actually interested in listening more to Enka, though I have no idea what they’re saying. I’ve listened to a few songs by Jero and they have been very soothing and beautiful. Jero is the first Black American to sing Enka music and he is successful at it. He manages to do it while still looking “cool”, though I am not impressed with his hats. Its nice to see people doing what is not exactly expected of them based off looks. He took a chance and stepped out of the box in what I consider a big way. Granted, he is of Japanese descent so he didn’t really step that far but he is definitely not your stereotypical Enka singer.
Hey, guys, today marks one year exactly that I started this blog! I cannot believe I made it one year. It was my goal to blog for at least a year without giving up and I am so happy that I was able to do it. It has definitely not been easy as each year brings with it unexpected happenings. As some of you know, I got engaged a few months ago so that has led to a decline in my posts as I prepare for my nuptials. Some of you have been here since the beginning and that makes me feel great. I have a small following and I appreciate every one of you.
When I started this blog, I didn’t expect much. It was really for my entertainment, my safe place to talk about the anime I was watching. I also lurk on others’ blogs because I like to see what others are saying about anime even when I disagree. My blog really has no direction and to me its random, but it has been called “opinionated” several times and I guess it is just an opinion blog. It focuses a lot on my feelings, sometimes I try to tone down my strong emotions but I think they still come across. With all that said, let’s have a little romp back in time.
My most popular posts:
Like a Lady: Females in Anime Blogging - This post garnered an unexpected response; I was very surprised especially being a novice anime blogger.
Anime Blogging: Does it encourage your hobby? - This was probably one of my favorite posts to write outside of the previous one.
J-List Giveaway – Everyone likes free stuff.
Riddle me this: Japanese Title vs. English Title - Another unexpected response to something that I had wondered about for a while before I decided to blog it out.
Facial Expressions in Anime – Leap Year Post! - I had a lot of fun with this post.
Once again, thank you to those who continue to reading my inconsistent blog. With that said, I will be taking a hiatus for the holidays. I may post intermittently but there is no guarantee, plus Black Ops II is out and I really want to spend a lot of my free time playing it. I kid. Or do I?
Do you have that excited feeling in your gut yet for the Fall season? Have you been met when crickets when someone asks you, “What are you doing this weekend?” And you respond, “Oh, nothing much, going to a fashion show, out to dinner, watching anime, and playing COD.” The person is very much into your response until she/he hears anime and COD. Eyes get a glazed look, mouth slightly agape, and the awkward pause. Then they wake up and seem to have figured it out:
“Oh, so you’re into that Japanese stuff and you’re a gamer?” – The person who believes they’ve understood. I usually don’t explain, I’ve stopped explaining. It’s easier to show the person or recommend something for them to watch. They either do or they don’t. I always recommend Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro to someone who has children; I see it as the most non-anime watcher friendly. If they watch it, I don’t get the awkward pause again. If its a guy, I recommend Ghost in the Shell, its got boobs and fighting. Usually works like a charm. I’ve had only one “friend” read my blog and he referred to it as creepy. Not sure why, it’s not like I’m into moe, yaoi, yuri, bishonen, hentai, to name a few. Others just considered it weird, and one actually thought it was cool although his experience with anime is laughable. It’s not that I am saying anything is wrong with what I mentioned previously and I don’t particularly find those genres creepy, they’re just not my thing. It doesn’t matter because when people hear I really enjoy anime, those genres are what pop in their head; tentacles pop into their heads.
Not for the first time, I wish I knew more people in my everyday life that enjoyed anime as much as I did. Of course, I would prefer they liked similar genres or it wouldn’t be much fun. It could be interesting if they were able to introduce me to something new but I have found that it helps if you like similar types of anime. Where did all this ranting come from? I got an awkward pause.
I always say I’m going to take a break from anime but it always sneaks back into my life. I tell myself I’m not going to watch any new shows this season but one or two manage to break down my barriers. I have no willpower when it comes to anime! I don’t understand why I am drawn to it so much. I mean, its nothing but glorified Japanese cartoons, right? What’s so special about it? I mean, they’re just copying Disney, that’s what I heard, you know? Suffice it to say, each season I fall into the same trap. But at least I can say this trap was one that was already sprung. I’m not really watching new shows; just shows I’ve started watching already. Since I like to give my readers a glimpse of what I’m watching; here’s the rundown:
1. Gintama is back!!! Those who have been reading my blog know I do not like epic series; the series that go over 100+ episodes but Gintama is an exception. It is the exception. I watch this show with almost a religious fervor. This show has never ceased to amaze me. The first and second episodes were both delightful. Gintama has the uncanny ability to pull at my heart strings and make me laugh at the same time.
2. Jormungand: Perfect Order. Really enjoyed the first season even with the Black Lagoon feel. I’m sure this season will be just as enjoyable as the first one. I know I should feel conflicted about a child soldier but this is an emotional roller coaster that I don’t want to get off yet.
3. Uchuu Kyodai, Space Brothers. This show is almost over and I will be sad to see it go but I am so happy to see a mature anime that reminds me that I should never give up on my childhood dreams. It is not over until you truly can’t do it anymore. Not to mention, it is a great family story; the bond between brothers, the bizarre love between parents, and there’s a little dog, too.
4. I am watching something new, though. Zetsuen no Tempest. It seems interesting; mage magically stranded on an island enlists the helps of a human who is out for revenge and the mage talks to the human through a wooden doll. Still not sure how things are working here but I guess you could chalk it up to “But its magic!”
5. I plan to watch Psycho-Pass and will watch the first episode as soon as I get a chance. It looks to be my cup of tea and lately I’ve been on this kick of watching anime geared towards adults and I don’t mean the x-rated kind.
6. I’ll be also watching Bubblegum Crisis in a couple of months. I just finished Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 and I really enjoyed it so I’m going to let that sink in first then move on to the first one.
What are you watching?